Happy Holiday RED Sangria

I haven’t kept up with my monthly sangria “project” – but I did manage to make this amazing sangria for Thanksgiving.  Of course, I didn’t get around to writing it up in time either.  But, hey, better late than never, right?

The little back story – When I searched for “Thanksgiving Sangria”, I got a lot of “Autumn” and “Christmas” sangrias.  This recipe sort of turned out to be a combination two sangria recipes, one for Halloween and one for Christmas.  Of course, I made a few modifications…  But, it turns out that it is REALLY good and versatile – so YOU pick the holiday you want to celebrate with this one…and drink it all winter long if you like!

Happy Holiday Red Sangria

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Credit: Cravings of a Lunatic and Joyful Healthy Eats


  • 750 mL bottle dry red wine (such as Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 pear, quartered and sliced
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 10 oz. unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 2 oz. Tuaca (orange vanilla liqueur)
  • 2 oz. Calvados (apple brandy)
  • 5 oz. agave syrup
  • Ocean Spray Sparkling cranberry juice


  1. Put fresh fruit into a large pitcher or sealable container.
  2. Add Tuaca, Calvados, agave syrup, unsweetened cranberry juice and red wine.
  3. Stir gently and allow to sit in refrigerator overnight (at least 4 hours).
  4. Pour 6 oz. of sangria concentrate into a wine glass.
  5. Top with 4 oz. of sparkling cranberry juice.


Cranberries and red wine are a perfect start for a late fall or winter sangria.  The Tuaca stole the show in a Blackberry Sangria that I made earlier this summer, I knew I had to use it again.  I find that the subtle vanilla flavor adds some warmth to this mixture that a purely orange liqueur (such as Cointreau) would not provide.  It’s become standard, more or less, for me to use apple brandy (Calvados) in lieu of regular brandy or cognac in my sangria recipes – it’s fruitier, blends well with the other ingredients, and isn’t as harsh as other liquors.  I used UN-sweetened cranberry juice with agave syrup, which I find makes for a more naturally sweet flavor.  If your cranberry juice is sweetened, I suggest skipping the agave.  Although agave syrup is pretty readily available now, you can substitute simple syrup if necessary.  Use your imagination when it comes to the fruit on this one.  It is nice to use seasonal fruit and/or fruit that accentuates the flavors of the liquid ingredients.  In this case, I feel like cranberries and oranges are a must.  I used pear for my Thanksgiving sangria, which worked out really nice, but apples work really well also.  I selected an easy-to-find, relatively inexpensive red wine, because it was just what I had in the cabinet – Red Velvet by Cupcake.

Now, for serving, the concentrate is pretty strong.  On a lark, I picked up some Ocean Spray Sparkling Cranberry juice.  It comes in a regular and sugar free version.  This ended up working perfectly with the sangria.  For the sake of experimenting, I tried both club soda and lemon-lime soda.  If you have to, go for club soda – it isn’t as good as the sparkling cranberry juice, but the lemon-lime flavor really clashed with the other fruits and tasted bad.  Hope you enjoy this!  Cheers!

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